Jussie Smollett will not be returning to the fifth season of Empire, having now been charged with a Class 4 Felony for falsifying a police report last month.
The decision was announced on Friday (Feb. 22). Executives made the move to remove Smollett’s character on the show — Jamal Lyon — from the last two episodes of the season to avoid upseting the cast and crew members on set. “While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out,” said the network’s executive producers.
The show returns from break on March 13.
READ: A Timeline Of Jussie Smollett’s Chicago Investigation
Smollett is said to have hired two men to carry out the attack for $3,500, according to Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier. The 36-year-old actor also allegedly provided the funds used to purchase the items utilized in the attack.
READ: Police say new tip reported in Jussie Smollett case is “unfounded.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson suggested in a press conference that the attack had been staged in response to Smollett’s dissatisfaction with his salary from the show, which he has been a cast member of since 2015.
H/T: USA Today
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